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No-Bake Icebox Desserts

Icebox Desserts

From nostalgic icebox cakes to berry trifles to chilled puddings, these desserts prove that the freezer is just as valuable as the oven. Whether you’re planning a casual cookout or an elegant dinner al fresco, these no-bake, make-ahead desserts are ideal for summer entertaining. 


Lemon Icebox Cake

Here, slices of angel food cake (which can be store-bought, for a truly no-bake dessert) are layered with a luscious lemon mousse, creating the dessert’s light-as-air texture.

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Chocolate Raspberry Cookies & Cream

You can make this with both crème fraîche and heavy cream, or you can use all cream if that’s easier. Kids will love it by the scoopful, but do dress it up for guests by drizzling a ribbon of raspberry sauce around the plate, tucking a cookie into the cream, and garnishing with a mint sprig.

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Ginger-Mascarpone Icebox Cake

Delicious on its own, this cake is also lovely paired with some bright-flavored fruit, such as blueberries or slices of mango or peach.

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Frozen Lime and Dulce de Leche Terrine with Blackberry Sauce

A delicious twist on Key lime pie, this frozen dessert has dulce de leche, a Latin American milk caramel, tucked inside. Fresh blackberry sauce adds a burst of summery flavor and color, and balances the intense creamy sweetness.

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Summer Berry Trifle

Use any kind of berry you like, just make sure you choose the ripest, tastiest ones available. Day-old bread soaks up all their sweet juices.

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Peach-Almond Icebox Cake

Layers of fresh peaches, almond cookies, and whipped mascarpone cream meld together in this take on an old-fashioned favorite. Make this when you have juicy, sweet ripe peaches.

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Blueberry Orange Summer Pudding

Ripe fresh fruit is nature's own fast food. It's already sweetened, it's loaded with flavor, it has interesting textures, and it's the perfect building block for intriguing desserts like this vibrant summer pudding made with blueberries and ladyfingers.

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White Chocolate Mousse Parfaits

Mango and gingersnap is an especially good, but you could play with other fruit and cookie-crumble combos as well: fresh raspberries or quartered strawberries with crushed chocolate cookies; reconstituted dried apricots with gingersnaps; blueberries with vanilla wafers.

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Chocolate Mousse Pie

This impressive and insanely delicious dessert requires only six ingredients, but that can be your little secret. Italian chocolate-filled sandwich cookies make a crust reminiscent of a Kit Kat bar; you can also use chocolate wafer cookies.

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Coffee & Cream Icebox Cake

Coffee and hazelnuts give this cake—a variation on Nabisco’s Famous Wafer Roll recipe—a more sophisticated flavor.

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Summer Berry Pudding with Moscato Whipped Cream

It may look elegant, but the ingredients in this spectacular dessert are simple (white bread, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries) and the flavor, thanks in part to Grand Marnier and the Moscato D’Asti whipped cream, is celebratory.

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Lemon Caramel Icebox Cake

Lemon meringue pie lovers will go crazy for this gorgeous make-ahead cake. The caramel and the lemon curd can be made up to 5 days ahead and store-bought graham crackers make a wonderfully-textured crust.

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Strawberries & Cream Semifreddo

Semifreddo means “half-cold” in Italian and refers to a chilled or half-frozen dessert containing whipped cream or meringue. This creamy version is like a frozen strawberry mousse.

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